Everton are reportedly targeting Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson as a replacement for Ramiro Funes Mori, but Marco Silva would be better served targeting Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma instead.
What’s the story, then?
The Northern Echo has reported that Everton are ready to target Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.
The report states that the Toffees are willing to part with two players in order to beat Southampton to the signing of the Englishman. The 25-year-old impressed in his single season in the Premier League and was reportedly a target for Manchester City, according to The Sun.
The Northern Echo report states that Everton would be willing to part with Mohamed Besic and Ramiro Funes Mori in order to get the deal over the line. Funes Mori has been confirmed as a Villareal player, so Marco Silva will be keen to get a deal for the defender done.
Gibson has been a stalwart in defence under Tony Pulis, playing 46 times in the Championship last season, and largely improved in every area of his game over the course of the season.
Whilst Gibson has improved, he has minimal Premier League experience and Zouma would provide a younger, better option for the Portuguese manager.
Since Zouma’s arrival at Chelsea he has made 81 Premier League appearances in his four seasons. He spent last season on loan at Stoke City, playing 37 times for the Potters.
Why Kurt Zouma?
Despite Stoke City’s relegation to the Championship, Zouma was largely heralded as one of the players who could hold his head high.
Stoke played some abysmal football last season, and Zouma was let down by the experienced players around him.
He is a classic defender who is not afraid to boot the ball to safety yet, at 23-years-old, has the potential to be moulded into the centre-back that Marco Silva desires for his Everton defence.
Everton were extremely leaky at the back last season, conceding 58 goals in a torrid season.
Zouma, who is valued at £13.5m by transfermarkt.com, showed in his earlier years at Chelsea that he has the ability to go from strength-to-strength if he is given the correct coach, and working with the likes of Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane can only help in the improvement of personal performances for the Frenchman.